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Closed Loop London plant on course to open next year

The first food grade plastic recycler in the UK is on course to open in March 2008 and is in its final stages of completion. Based in Dagenham, the Closed Loop London plant is currently being built on a brownfield site but is waiting for the waste technology to be installed inside it. Once completed, the plant will be capable of making food grade plastic from recycled bottles and will ensure that 35,000 tonnes of plastic bottles can be converted into packaging material in the UK. Closed Loop London managing director Chris Dow said: The plant is capable of taking in mixed plastic bottles from the UKs waste stream and reprocessing it into food grade PET and HDPE. For example, if you consume a water bottle and put it into your recycling bin, that bottle will be collected, sent to our plant and recycled. From then, it will be delivered to a manufacturer who can turn it into a new bottle. The recycling facility uses a unique process called the United Resources Recovery Corporation (URRC) process. The process combines conventional mechanical and chemical recycling and super washes the broken down plastic so that it can be produced into food grade quality PET. Dow added: "The process uses 50% less energy than the manufacture of virgin resin and therefore is more cost efficient and has a smaller carbon footprint. At the moment most plastic bottles collected in the UK are exported to the Far East. We are creating a domestic demand for British recycled bottles and as UK consumers are becoming more environmentally savvy they will demand that their packaging contain recycled content and be 100% recyclable. According to Dow, there is between 300,000 to 400,000 tonnes of PET used in this country and 30% could be recycled PET.

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